Cody Redfern, a 7th grade teacher and coach at Canyon Ridge Middle School, was gifted Whataburger for life recently with the help of two students in particular.
Redfern teaches science and coaches volleyball but goes out of his way in class to help kids with other school work if they ask. He also is known for his love for Whataburger and wears a good amount of merch.
“Whataburger comfy, Whataburger cowboy boots, Whataburger PJ pants, and a cowboy hat… a shark head hat, Whataburger Christmas sweaters the whole week before Christmas break,” shared Neha George, CRMS student.
Neha and her friend Sophia Maniccia decided to email Whataburger asking them to sponsor Coach Redfern. They shared that they emailed persistently but honestly did not think anything would come of it.
But in March, Coach Redfern was brimming with excitement when he pulled Neha and Sophia aside to tell them that Whataburger was reading their emails and was impressed with what they shared.
Neha shared that Coach Redfern’s room is open in the mornings before the first bell and many students gather there, sometimes as many as 30 students, to work on assignments or prepare for the school day. He is known to be there for his students and even has several nicknames including Ferny, Fern Red and, of course, Whata Cowboy.
The CRMS girls were thrilled to hear that not only did the Texas-based chain give Redfern Whataburger swag but also free Whataburger for life.
“To be recognized like this means so much. It is quite easily one of the highlights of my career,” Redfern said. “I love Whataburger and all that they do for the community, but the fact that my students went out of their way to get me recognized is a special feeling that I cannot quite describe nor will ever forget.”
“To know that I have made an impact on these students and to see how much they appreciate me enough to do this, is certainly a heartwarming experience, especially after how difficult of a year it has been to be a teacher,” Redfern said.
Neha shared that Coach Redfern is kind, patient, a really fun teacher and one who helps whenever anybody needs it.
“Coach Redfern is the best teacher I have ever had,” Neha said. “The way he teaches is really unique yet extremely productive.”
With Coach Redfern, the students also listen to songs and do hand motions for different units. “These songs are in my head all day long to the point where I know every beat drop or word,” she shared.
Neha said when students come into class, they start on warm-ups or questions to prepare them for a future test. They also share good things, and then work on the assignment for the day.
“Sharing has helped me because it feels like I have people to talk to and people who really care about me,” Neha shared.
And because of his passion for teaching, Coach Redfern will have lots of orange in his closet for life.
“I love what I do, a big reason why I’m here is because of how [the students] are, and because of the impact teachers can make,” Coach Redfern shared. “I feel honored, blessed by God, and of course, lucky to be these students’ teacher.”